What is Government’s Action Plan for the next 4 years?

  • Georgia has launched a new website where foreigners can apply for an e-visa. Photo by N.Alavidze/agenda.ge

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze

Agenda.ge, 25 Nov 2016, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Government of Georgia says its Action plan for 2016-2020-"Freedom, Rapid Development and Welfare"- will be based on earlier offered Four Point Reform Agenda, which refers new tax benefits, infrastructure plans, governance reforms and an overhaul of the education system. 

The Government stresses the country’s economic policy will on the one hand develop private sector and on the other hand ensure to help the Georgian people in most need of state support. 

Economic reform

The Action Plan says the planned economic reform will "maximally encourage” private sector, investors and businesses. 

  • From January 1, 2017 businesses will no longer be taxed if they reinvest their incomes
  • The Government of Georgia will continue financing Start-Up business to support young people and others get involved in business
  • Economic offenses related to entrepreneurship will be decriminalized
  • Administrative expenses will decrease 
  • A new pension model will be introduced that will enable people save money from their salaries in their most active years and use it later when old. The current pension system will also be preserved. 

Education 

The Action Plan reads a systemic reform in the education system will provide high-quality secondary, high and vocational education and would be "decisive for the state economic advancement.” 

The reform included: 

  • Introducing of a German model for the vocational education, which envisaged close cooperation between state and private sectors to ensure quality studies and immediate employment
  • Those directions would be prioritized in high education that were demanded on the market, referring to economic directions
  • Vocational education would be available for all and those finishing vocational education institutions will also be able get high education 

Spatial Arrangement and Infrastructure 

The Government says spatial arrangement would be "one of the key preconditions for state sustainable development and upgrading of living conditions for the people of Georgia.” 

The reform included

  • A general-plan-based development of Georgian towns and regions 
  • Planning and constructing of transport network to easily connect all regions of Georgia 
  • Constructing of road infrastructure worth of 3,5 billion USD before 2020
  • Implementing of Universal Internet Program that will make internet available for 800,000 people
  • Starting the construction of Anaklia Port in west Georgia and partial finishing of necessary works 
  • Tbilisi-Baku-Kars railway’s coming into full swing for 2017 
  • A highway linking east and west Georgia will be completed 
  • The Government says the efforts will boost the number of foreign visitors by 40 percent and their number will exceed 8 million for 2020. 

The Plan also says the activities will create 50,000 new jobs in Georgia as the country will turn into "four-season state for tourists.” 

Governance Reform 

Governance reform means providing Inclusive Governance and providing all services at one place. 

In the frame of the reform a Business House will be established that will offer all services for legal entities at one place without addressing various state institutions. 

The Government will also have to make decisions in a specified time period to avoid lingered procedures.

This will be possible through the creation of a special format, where state-important issues would be settled through maximal involvement of all actors. 

Government planned to maintain and further develop:

The Government also vowed to: 

  • Protect constitutional rights of its citizens 
  • Support media freedom and the right of expression
  • Refine a legislation to ensure protection of privacy
  • Take steps to raise trust to court system
  • Carry out justice reform
  • Take steps the activities of Georgia’s law enforcement structures to meet European standards 
  • Encourage analyses-based police activities, referring to crime prevention 
  • To protect minorities’ rights 
  • To protect the people with various disabilities 
  • To take actions against family violence

Foreign policy priorities 

The Action Plan said the foreign policy agenda would be based on "strengthening of security and sovereignty, de-occupation and reintegration.” 

 Top priorities included: 

  • A continued dialogue with the European Union and the member states of the European Union on Georgia’s EU integration 
  • Effective implementation of the Georgia-European Union Association Agreement  
  • Taking measures against anti-west propaganda in Georgia 
  • Integration into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
  • More deepening of strategic relations with the United States 
  • Coordinative and effective cooperation with Georgia’s partners against terrorism 
  • Pragmatic policy with Russia but never at the expense of Georgia’s territorial integrity 
  • Closer partnership with international, donor and non-governmental organisations, as well as with regional states and allies 
  • Implementing of effective regional projects with partner states for Georgia to maximally use country's potential in New Silk Economic Belt 
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